Friday, March 17, 2006

Slight Sales Decline in Early 2006

I've just posted real estate statistical reports from Alaska MLS Inc. showing market activity through February. I'm watching the data closely this spring for signs of any market slowdown.

It might be a stretch to divine any weakening of market activity from the early data. Closed sales reports for February and January reflect deals that were done late last year. A better early indicator is the number of transactions that were showing as pending at the end of January and February.

This year the pending file is in the low 200's. Last year it went from a little under 300 to just over 300 by February. Two years ago it was about the same as last year. So there have been fewer property sales so far this year.

This has not been accompanied by an increase in the number of homes for sale, however. At this time of year there have always been a little under 600 residential listings in MLS. The inventory stood at 558 at the end of last month this year.

The average sales price topped $310,000 for the first time ever on a year-to-date basis. The average price for last year on one report -- MLS has not yet published comprehensive year-end data -- was $291,013. The February closed sales average $315,751.

That preliminary average sales price for last year is an increase over 2004 of 12.13%.

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